Stovetop Mac and Cheese for One

stovetop mac and cheese

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4 from 1 review

For those nights when only a big o’ bowl of pasta and cheese will do this stovetop mac and cheese answers the call. It’s decadent. It’s rich. Plus, it’s so, so easy to make and will knock out any sudden-onset comfort food craving.


  • 3 ounces medium pasta shells
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra to taste
  • 2 ounces shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • 2 ounces shredded fontina cheese
  • 2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons whole milk, divided


  1. Boil the pasta according to package directions. Season the water with 1 teaspoon of salt. While the pasta cooks, place the cheddar cheese and fontina cheese in a bowl and toss it with the cornstarch until it’s evenly coated.
  2. Drain the pasta and return it back to the same pan. Turn the heat to medium-low and add the butter and 2 tablespoons of milk. Stir until the butter is melted. Add the cheese and stir quickly until it starts to melt into the pasta. Add 2 tablespoons of milk and continue stirring until the sauce is smooth, creamy, and evenly coats the pasta. Add additional salt, to taste


The key to this mac and cheese is the consistency of the sauce and in testing, I found that four tablespoons of whole milk are enough to create a creamy sauce. I haven’t tried this recipe with a lower fat milk. That said, if your sauce is too thick or not clinging to the pasta be sure to add additional milk, a tablespoon at a time, until you get the right consistency. Also, stirring rigorously goes a long way to help the sauce come together.

A note about the nutrition: it’s out of control but when a mac and cheese craving hits I like to go all the way. Mac and cheese is a treat. Also, about the salt: the teaspoon that is added to the pasta water mostly goes away after you drain it, but it’s tough to measure so the sodium estimate is most likely a high estimate.